2014DC MicrositesNovember/December

Drilling & Completion News

Fast-moving automated drilling rig to be completed in early 2015

Drillmec has designed a fast-moving, automated rig that the company says has a 50% smaller footprint than conventional land rigs of similar size.
Drillmec has designed a fast-moving, automated rig that the company says has a 50% smaller footprint than conventional land rigs of similar size.

Drillmec has designed an automated drilling rig called AHEAD, Advanced Hydraulic Electrical Automated Driller. It reduces the rig footprint by approximately 50% compared with conventional 1,500-hp land rigs, according to the company. Construction of the first rig is expected to be complete in early 2015.

The rig’s trailer-mounted components – 21 loads – provide it with fast-moving capabilities. The substructure can be a slingshot or a hydraulic self-leveling, elevating system, which allows a fast and safe rig-up without cranes. The hoisting system is based on a telescopic mast with a double hydraulic piston and equipped with an integrated Drillmec ETD series electric top drive.

The rig will be equipped with a fully automated offline system to make up stands of two Range 3 drill pipe (or three Range 2 drill pipe) directly on the mouse hole. The system includes a vertical and horizontal pipe handler and a modular vertical pipe rack with a total capacity of 5,000 m of 5-in. Range 3 drill pipe.

The new rig series was designed to be equipped with Drillmec’s Heart of Drilling (HoD), a package combining a continuous circulation system, a high-resolution flow rate monitor and an anti-friction device. The HoD package includes an anti-friction device integrated in the continuous circulation subs or in the drill pipe tool joints, which reduces top drive and string stresses while drilling high-angle or horizontal sections of extended-reach wells.

The combination of these three tools ensures a continuous dialogue with the bottomhole, the constant presence of two safety barriers on the well (mud circulation and BOPs) and optimal working conditions for the top drive, with reduced drilling and connection times.

JIP to develop risk-based BOP maintenance method

DNV GL has established a joint industry project (JIP) to develop a risk-based maintenance methodology to deliver more effective and cost-efficient BOP maintenance. BOPs have traditionally been subject to time-based maintenance, which could lead to increased operational downtime.

Regulators are proposing the use of alternatives to time-based maintenance. Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, for example, has focused on operators’ maintenance functions, which has increased industry understanding of risk-based maintenance.

“This JIP is looking to put this knowledge into action and provide a Recommended Practice or International Standard in which effective maintenance tasks will be identified and a cost-benefit analysis of these tasks will be evaluated,” Rui Quadrado, Project Manager at DNV GL, said. Several BOP manufacturers, operators, rig owners and shelf state regulators have joined the JIP.

The work will be conducted by DNV GL and supervised by a steering committee.  A kick-off meeting will take place on 25 September 2014 in Norway and industry partners are welcome to attend this.

Statoil makes seventh discovery offshore Tanzania

Statoil and Shell’s newly awarded acreage is located in southeastern Algeria, covering 2,730 sq km.
Statoil and Shell’s newly awarded acreage is located in southeastern Algeria, covering 2,730 sq km.

Statoil and co-venturer ExxonMobil have made a natural gas discovery offshore Tanzania with the Giligiliani-1 exploration well.

The discovery of an additional 1.2 trillion cu ft (tcf) of natural gas in place in the Giligiliani-1 well brings the total of in-place volumes up to approximately 21 tcf in Block 2.

The Giligiliani-1 discovery is located along the western side of Block 2 at a water depth of 2,500 m. The new gas discovery was made in Upper Cretaceous sandstones.

Ultra-deepwater discovery made in Espírito Santo Basin

Petrobras has confirmed the extension an accumulation of hydrocarbons in the ultra-deepwaters of the Espirito Santo Basin post-salt deposits. Extension well 3-BRSA-1253D-ESS, also known as 3-ESS-219D, was drilled in a water depth of 1,886 m to confirm the discovery.

The well is located in the Brigadeiro Discovery Evaluation Plan area, 121 km off the coast of Vitória (Espírito Santo). Log data analysis, fluid samples and cable tests from reservoirs some 3,550 m deep have confirmed the presence of good-quality oil.

Rosneft discovers oil with Kara Sea well

Rosneft has completed the drilling of the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Arctic – purportedly the northernmost well in the world – and discovered oil in the East-Prinovozemelskiy-1 license area. The drilling was completed in 1.5 months in compliance with all the technological and ecological standards and requirements, according to Rosneft.

The sea depth at the drilling site was 81 m, and the depth of the straight well is 2,113 m. The well was drilled 250 km offshore Russia.

Lundin strikes oil, gas on Alta prospect in Barents Sea

Lundin Petroleum, through its subsidiary Lundin Norway, has encountered both oil and gas in exploration well 7220/11-1 on the Alta prospect in the Barents Sea. The well encountered a gross hydrocarbon column of 57 m consisting of 11 m of gas and 46 m of oil in carbonate rocks of good reservoir quality.

Statoil, Shell to test shale acreage in Algeria

Statoil and Shell were awarded the Timissit Permit License in the Illizi-Ghadames Basin onshore Algeria. The license is in southeastern Algeria and covers an area of 2,730 sq km. Statoil bid in partnership with Shell, where Statoil will be the operator with 30% equity. Shell will hold 19% equity, and Sonatrach will hold the majority 51%.

The award represents an opportunity to test a potentially large shale resource play. The shale potential in Algeria may become an increasingly important component of the country’s gas exports to Europe in the future. The new license represents an opportunity to build on the existing country position by adding acreage with material exploration potential.

Maersk Drilling receives 1-year extension for jackup

Petronas Carigali has extended its contract for the Maersk Convincer jackup by one year. The rig will be on contract with Petronas until mid-November 2015. The estimated revenue potential from the one-year contract extension is $56 million.

Maersk Convincer is one of two Baker Marine 375-ft jackups in Maersk Drilling’s fleet.

ExxonMobil to add 17,800 net acres in Permian Basin

ExxonMobil has entered an agreement with LINN Energy to add 17,800 net acres in the Permian Basin to its US oil and natural gas portfolio managed by subsidiary XTO Energy. In return, LINN Energy will receive interest in 500 net acres from ExxonMobil’s South Belridge Field. XTO’s leasehold position across the Permian totals more than 1.5 million acres.

Gulf Drilling orders fifth high-spec jackup from Keppel

The KFELS B Class jackup can drill wells up to 30,000 ft with a cantilever that can skid out 70 ft from the edge of the hull.
The KFELS B Class jackup can drill wells up to 30,000 ft with a cantilever that can skid out 70 ft from the edge of the hull.

Gulf Drilling International has ordered the construction of a repeat high-specification KFELS B Class jackup, to be named Halul, from Keppel FELS. The contract value is estimated at $227 million.

The jackup is scheduled for delivery in Q1 2016 to begin a five-year contract with Qatar Petroleum. As part of the contract, GDI has options for two more KFELS B Class rigs for deliveries in 2017.

Eni signs two PSCs for exploration in Vietnam

Eni has signed two production-sharing contracts (PSCs) with PetroVietnam for the exploration of blocks 116 and 124 off the coast of Vietnam. Block 116 covers an area of approximately 5,000 sq km in the Song Hong basin, in 10-20 m of water. Block 124 covers 6,000 sq km in the Phu Khanhbasin, in 50-2,600 m of water. The PSC provides for an exploration period of seven years.

Shell begins production from Gumusut-Kakap

Shell has started oil production from the Gumusut-Kakap floating platform off the coast of Malaysia, the latest in a series of deepwater projects for the company.

The Gumusut-Kakap field is located in waters up to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) deep. The platform is expected to reach a peak oil production of around 135,000 bbl/day once fully ramped up. With oil production under way, work on the gas injection facilities is continuing, with an expected start-up during 2015.

Noble Energy plans to resume exploration drilling in the Falkland Islands in 2015. This will follow the acquisition and evaluation of an extensive 3D seismic program over portions of the company’s 10 million-acre position. The company’s initial operated prospect has been named Humpback and is located in the Fitzroy sub-basin of the Southern Area License.

The Humpback prospect is one of multiple stacked fan prospects clustered together in the sub-basin that has a combined estimated resource potential of 1 billion bbl, according to the company. Noble Energy anticipates drilling operations at Humpback to begin in mid-2015 and is finalizing prospect locations for a second exploration well, planned for later in 2015.

Click here for more rig construction and contracts news, as well as oil and gas discoveries and field development updates from around the world, available on DC’s Global and Regional Markets microsite. 

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